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Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

Latest from the Boston Herald - 6 hours 51 min ago

WASHINGTON — Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced a bill to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records, a proposal that goes further than a similar House measure and has drawn support from civil liberties groups, the White House and Republicans.

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Weather service: small tornado hit Dalton Sunday

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 1 min ago

DALTON, Mass. — The National Weather Service says a small tornado touched down Sunday in the western Massachusetts town of Dalton.

The Albany, New York, forecasting office said Tuesday an EF1 tornado with estimated 90 mph wind touched down at about 5 p.m. Sunday in Greenridge Park, traveling about a quarter-mile on a path about 20 yards wide. The weather service said a microburst of straight-line winds caused most of the damage in a larger area in town north and west of the tornado.

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Clean-air rules assailed as too much, too little

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 5 min ago

DENVER — Hundreds of people across the country lined up Tuesday to tell the Environmental Protection Agency that its new rules for power-plant pollution either go too far or not far enough.

The agency is holding hearings this week in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington on President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030, with 2005 levels as the starting point. The rules are intended to curb global warming.

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Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 5 min ago

WASHINGTON — Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

The report blames a generation of sun worshipping for the $8 billion spent to treat all forms of skin cancer each year.

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Congressional Democrats urge California to expand movie production credit

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 7 min ago

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and more than two dozen other Democratic members of California's congressional delegation are urging state lawmakers to pass legislation that would expand film and TV tax credits.

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Twitter stock surges on Q2 results

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 9 min ago

Twitter shares jumped as much as 35% in after-hours trading after the social-media company posted better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter of 2014.

The company reported revenue for the period of $312 million, up 124% year-over-year, and a net loss of $144.6 million (versus a net loss of $42.2 million in the year-earlier period).

Twitter's average monthly active users were 271 million as of June 30, 2014, up 24% from a year ago, over Wall Street analyst estimates of 265 million monthly active users for Q2.

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Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 17 min ago

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans' waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

McDonald, 61, of Cincinnati, will replace Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson, who took over in May after Eric Shinseki resigned.

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Tuberculosis patient who refused care is arrested

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 22 min ago

FRESNO, Calif. — A California man who disappeared after refusing treatment for tuberculosis, which can be contagious and spreads by coughing or sneezing, was found and arrested on charges of refusing to comply with health officials, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Eduardo Rosas Cruz, 25, was arrested late Monday in Kern County, San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Stephen Taylor said. Before Rosas Cruz can be sent back to San Joaquin County, he has to be medically cleared, which could take weeks, Taylor said.

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US bars Kurdish oil from entering Texas port

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 27 min ago

FORT WORTH, Texas — The U.S. has barred a shipment of Kurdish crude oil from reaching the Texas coast amid concerns independent oil sales from Kurdistan could further weaken Iraq's fragile central government as it struggles to contain a Sunni military offensive.

A U.S. District judge ordered a U.S. Marshal to seize the cargo — about 1 million barrels of crude oil, worth about $100 million — aboard the tanker United Kalavryta in response to a complaint filed by the Iraqi government claiming the oil was smuggled out of Kurdistan without its permission.

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Immigration overload: The debate in governor races

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 43 min ago

AUGUSTA, Maine — The federal government has placed as many as 30,000 minors who have crossed the border illegally with sponsors across the country this year, spurring a wide range of reactions from governors, many of whom are up for re-election this fall.

The issue has dominated gubernatorial races in some Mexican border states, like Arizona, but it has also spilled into political races in states like Maine, where Republican Gov. Paul LePage faces a tough re-election fight in a three-person battle.

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Patrick signs $1B convention center upgrade bill

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 51 min ago

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill authorizing a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Patrick said the expansion will increase jobs and help welcome more visitors to the state. He signed the bill Tuesday at the Statehouse.

Supporters say the upgrade will increase the center's operating space by more than 50 percent and help Boston compete for the world's largest and most lucrative conventions.

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Gov. Patrick: I'll sign abortion clinic bill soon

Latest from the Boston Herald - 7 hours 59 min ago

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick says he plans to sign a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics in Massachusetts..

The Massachusetts House and Senate on Tuesday gave final passage to the legislation that would let police disperse one or more individuals who are substantially impeding access to a clinic. Those individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic's entrances for up to eight hours.

The 25-foot boundary would have to be clearly marked and the regulations posted in public.

Patrick said Tuesday he'll sign the bill soon.

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Lawmakers struggle to seal $225M Iron Dome package

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 7 min ago

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans in Congress vowed urgent support Tuesday for a $225 million missile defense package for Israel, boosting the likelihood that legislation will clear Congress before lawmakers begin a monthlong vacation at week's end.

"Let's stop playing games," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., calling the assistance a necessity for the "life-or-death struggle Israel faces."

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West Nile-infected mosquitoes found in Jamaica Plain

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 9 min ago

West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Boston for the first time this summer, health officials said.

One mosquito pool in Jamaica Plain tested positive for the virus earlier this week, but no human cases of West Nile or any other mosquito-borne illnesses have been recorded in Boston this year.

“Periods of hot weather and heavy rain can contribute to the appearance of West Nile, and people should take some simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” said Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Public Health Commission..

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Appeals court rejects tax challenge to Obamacare

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 10 min ago

WASHINGTON — Rejecting the latest effort to sidetrack "Obamacare," a federal appeals court turned away a challenge by a conservative group that said Congress imposed new taxes unconstitutionally when it created the Affordable Care Act.

Pacific Legal Foundation and a small-business owner, Matt Sissel, argued that the Affordable Care Act is a bill for raising revenue and that it violated the Origination Clause of the Constitution because it began in the Senate, not the House. The Constitution requires that legislation to raise revenue must start in the House.

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House to vote on slimmed-down bill for border

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 10 min ago

WASHINGTON — House Republicans unveiled a slimmed-down bill Tuesday to address the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border by sending in National Guard troops and speeding migrant youths back home. The election-year measure would allow Republicans to say they tried to solve the humanitarian problem in South Texas, even though it stands no chance of becoming law.

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Mayor names Ted Landsmark to BRA board

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 13 min ago

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has picked the president of Boston Architectural College to serve on the BRA's board of directors, mounting his first step in reshaping a panel made up mostly made up holdovers and appointees from the Menino administration.

Theodore "Ted" Landsmark, who holds degrees in environmental design and law, fills the vacancy on the five-member board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority created by the departure of longtime chairman Clarence (Jeep) Jones, who stepped down last September after serving 32 years on the panel.

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OKCupid, Facebook not alone in studying consumers

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 14 min ago

NEW YORK — Think you're in control? Think again.

This week, OKCupid became the latest company to admit that it has manipulated customer data to see how users of its dating service would react to one another. The New York-based Internet company's revelation follows news earlier this month that Facebook let researchers change news feeds to see how it would affect users' moods. The fact is, big companies use customers as unwitting guinea pigs all the time —online and in the real world.

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Christie planning August swing through the South

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 16 min ago

NEWARK, N.J. — Republican Gov. Chris Christie will be swinging through the South as part of another jam-packed month of travel boosting fellow GOP candidates.

Christie, who has been crossing the country in his role as chair of the Republican Governors Association, is planning August visits to more than half a dozen states, including Mississippi and Alabama, his office said.

After a family vacation, Christie will head to Maine on Aug. 12 to campaign again for incumbent Gov. Paul LePage.

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Crayola to open family attraction in Orlando

Latest from the Boston Herald - 8 hours 22 min ago

EASTON, Pa. — Crayon manufacturer Crayola is building a family attraction in Florida, similar to the one it operates in its home state of Pennsylvania, and more could be on the way around the country if the new place does well.

The company said Tuesday that Crayola Experience Orlando will open next summer at The Florida Mall.

Crayola Experience Orlando will feature 25 hands-on activities in 70,000 square feet of space. One attraction will let children create their own unique crayon with a personalized wrapper. Another will let kids appear on their own coloring page.

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